DOH launches mental health hotline

HONOLULU — The state Department of Health has launched a new mental health crisis counseling hotline to provide residents support during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new program is called “Ku Makani — The Hawaii Resiliency Project,” and offers counseling, education and information for people experiencing mental health crises during the pandemic, Hawaii News Now reported Saturday.

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The program has trained counselors are on each Hawaii island and serves people who speak multiple language, with staff fluent in Ilokano, Spanish, Hawaiian, Tongan, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Japanese, Palauan and Samoan.

The state Department of Health received a $2.1 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to create the program.

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Hawaii residents can access the new program by calling Hawaii CARES 1-800-753-6879 and by selecting option No. 1.

Calls can be made between 4 to 9 p.m. on weekdays and state holidays and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The service is available for children, teenagers and adults.

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